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The Price of Glory

by Seth Hunter

Series: Nathan Peake (3)

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304685,105 (3.88)None
Captain Nathan Peake's adventures continue as he charts a perilous course into the dangerous waters of post-Revolutionary Paris. There, he encounters two of the most beautiful and scandalous courtesans in history and their playmate, laughingly dubbed Captain Cannon, who is about to win enduring fame as Napoleon Bonaparte. Back at the helm of the Unicorn, Peake joins Captain Horatio Nelson, another young glory-seeker, in a bid to wreck Bonaparte's plans for the invasion of Italy. Amidst the chaos of war, Peake has his own private agenda to find his lost love; but as the fighting spreads from the mountains to the sea, he discovers that glory comes at a higher price than he originally thought.… (more)
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Nathan Peake is still wearing two hats as a frigate captain and occasional spy. Lots of politics locally in Great Britain and on the continent. With an interesting factual basis, we meet Buonaparte, as an artillerist and several other historic figures, Nelson for one, in this good story about France before Napolean. Some lively sea and land action enliven the plot as Peake seeks his lost love. ( )
  jamespurcell | Jul 10, 2017 |
Summary: In post-Revolutionary France, the British government is trying to send aid to the remaining pockets of royalists, and Captain Nathan Peake and the Unicorn are dispatched to the Brittany coast to help provide that aid. Nathan then finds himself in Paris, posing as an American to uncover information of vital importance to the British crown, and finding himself enmeshed in the treacherous world of Parisian society and politics, on the eve of it being turned upside down by a young upstart known as Napoleon Bonaparte. After the counter-Revolution is put down, Nathan returns to the Unicorn and heads to the Mediterranean to join Captain Nelson to save the treasures of Genoa from their impending capture by the French.

Review: My summary of this book covers more of the book than I usually do, and probably feels pretty disjointed. The reason for this is that this book was incredibly disjointed, such that I can barely remember what it's about, let alone pick out a single narrative thread that runs through the whole thing. I guess the main thread is that Nathan is trying to find Sara, who was sent to the guillotine during the Terror but is rumored to have escaped and now living along the coast that the Unicorn is patrolling. But that's just something running in the background of his mind for most of the novel, and only really comes into play in the last chapter or two. The rest of the book is broken up into three sections, Brittany, Paris, and Genoa, and while each of these set-pieces is okay on its own, they didn't flow together very well or make any kind of a coherent whole. This was a problem with the previous book as well, although in that book I was more able to enjoy each of the pieces well enough. In this book, for some reason, I never really got engaged in most of the little individual chunks, found myself skimming through the naval battles, and just had a really hard time getting and staying involved in the story and the characters, to the point where I could set this book down for several weeks at a time and not feel any inclination to pick it up again. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I've got a review copy of the next book in the series, so I'll be pressing on (and it's the main reason I didn't DNF this one), but if that weren't the case I feel like I've given this series enough of a shot to improve over my impressions of the first book, and it hasn't done so, so I'll be looking elsewhere for future naval adventure. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Jul 2, 2016 |
Striking while the iron is hot - and my memory of the previous novel fairly current - I am still loving Seth Hunter's Nathan Peake novels. To paraphrase a quote on the cover, he's 'like Patrick O'Brian, only readable'. For a start, Peake truly is a hero, in the sense that his character isn't eclipsed by great sea battles and naval jargon. I am forever indebted to Hunter for the 'shore based' chapters in his novel, where Peake visits his family or ventures into revolutionary Paris, which balance the still baffling seafaring action (I still have no idea what any of the many, many sails and masts on a ship actually do, and care even less!)

And there is a lot of action - and historical cameos - crammed into the third instalment. Hunter seems to navigate between the Royalist landings in Quiberon, plans for the Louisiana Purchase and the quest for a holy grail held by a Genoan bank - via Mary Wollstonecraft, Napoleon and Nelson - while chucking in a couple of epic ship battles for good measure. I must admit I lost the thread once or twice, but Captain Peake is so engaging, and Hunter's narrative so dry and witty, that I was able to stay the course. He's a very 'safe' character - the son of an English father and an American mother who fights the French but is 'not opposed to the ideas advanced by the Revolution' - but hopelessly heroic. And I love his star-cross'd connection with Sara, even if the reunion was slightly tepid. Hoping for more in book four! ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jun 18, 2013 |
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"You will feel no pain," they said. "It is like the tickle of a feather or a lover's kiss."
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Captain Nathan Peake's adventures continue as he charts a perilous course into the dangerous waters of post-Revolutionary Paris. There, he encounters two of the most beautiful and scandalous courtesans in history and their playmate, laughingly dubbed Captain Cannon, who is about to win enduring fame as Napoleon Bonaparte. Back at the helm of the Unicorn, Peake joins Captain Horatio Nelson, another young glory-seeker, in a bid to wreck Bonaparte's plans for the invasion of Italy. Amidst the chaos of war, Peake has his own private agenda to find his lost love; but as the fighting spreads from the mountains to the sea, he discovers that glory comes at a higher price than he originally thought.

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